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Wings in Waiting: Anthony Mantha

Red Wings are optimistic about prospect's continued dominance in QMJHL

Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 8:19 AM ET / News
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Wings in Waiting: Anthony Mantha
Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha (8) will head to Grand Rapids next season to begin the next chapter of his hockey career. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT – The youth movement that began in the Red Wings’ organization last season is only looking brighter.

Forward Anthony Mantha, Detroit’s first overall pick in the 2013 NHL draft, took over the QMJHL during the 2013-14 season, leading the league with 57 goals and 120 points in just 57 games. The 6-foot-4 right wing earned both the Michel Briere Trophy (the league’s most valuable player) and the Jean Beliveau Trophy (top regular-season scorer) while leading his team, Val-d’Or, to its first division championship in seven years.

“He's taken over the Quebec league,” said Jiri Fischer, Detroit’s director of player development. “In Val d'Or, they have a fantastic power play. In the Subway Series, he played for Team Quebec. He was on the bubble for the Canadian World Junior team, even though he led the Quebec League in scoring by 25 percent more than the next guy at the time.

“I saw him play in the Subway Series. In the first game, he had a goal and an assist. The next game, he scored another goal on the power play. Then he makes the World Junior roster and he leads Team Canada in scoring in the tournament.”

Mantha played in 63 games with the Foreurs in his first full year in 2011-12 and represented Canada at the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship, earning 22 goals and 29 assists.

The forward was Val-d'Or's second-leading scorer during his second season, ranking first in the QMJHL with 50 goals and had 39 assists in 67 games. The Foreurs reached the second round in the playoffs after finishing fourth in the West Division.

Mantha scored five goals with seven assists in nine playoff games.

“He's just a big, strong, 6-foot-4 guy who holds on to the puck under pressure in the offensive zone,” Fischer said. “Month after month, week after week, he just keeps proving that he is a dominant offensive power forward. I'm really excited about him turning pro next year.”

The Red Wings will bring Mantha, 19, up to the Grand Rapids Griffins once his junior team is eliminated from the 2014 postseason but the way he and the Foreurs are playing Wings' fans won't see him for a few months.

Mantha has been a playoff hero, scoring 24 goals in 24 games, including the championship-clinching goal in Game 7 Tuesday. With only 52 seconds left, after Baie-Comeau roared back from a three-goal deficit in the final period, Mantha's goal lifted Val d'Or to the Memorial Cup, which begins Friday in London, Ontario.


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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 50 17 18 23 35
H. Zetterberg 51 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 50 14 16 -3 30
G. Nyquist 51 14 13 -4 27
J. Abdelkader 51 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 36 6 18 10 24
M. Green 45 3 17 -8 20
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
D. DeKeyser 47 6 8 10 14
R. Sheahan 50 7 6 -15 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 18 10 4 .931 2.06
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89